Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 14:14 UK

Banned Dutch MP plans UK journey

Geert Wilders
Mr Wilders was sent back from the UK when he tried to defy the entry ban

Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders plans to visit the UK on Friday after successfully appealing against a Home Office ban on him entering the country.

The government decision led to the Freedom Party MP, who has been accused of Islamophobia, being turned back at Heathrow in February.

He will not be showing his controversial film Fitna on this visit but plans to return to show it later.

The Home Office said it would decide in "due course" whether to appeal.

If it does appeal against the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal's ruling, made on Monday, it would need the permission of the Court of Appeal to keep the travel ban in place pending the hearing.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC Radio 5 live, Mr Wilders said he had been invited to the House of Lords by Lord Pearson to organise the showing of his film, which links the Koran to terrorism, at a later date.

"It's a short visit, not to show Fitna or have a debate, we will have that later," he said.


He said he wanted to come to the UK to debate the issue with people who both agreed and disagreed with him.

"I believe it was a good day [on Tuesday] for the freedom of speech. I believe the decision of the UK government was political, it was not based on law," he said.

"Never - and I have been to many countries and had this debate - has anything violent happened. And I'm a democratic politician and I only use democratic means like speeches. This is the way it works in civil society.

Following the tribunal's decision, a Home Office spokesman said: "We are disappointed by the court's decision. The government opposes extremism in all its forms.

"The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view."

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